Penticton Indian Band begins process to take control over its lands
PENTICTON, BC, June 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, welcomed today the Penticton Indian Band to the First Nations Land Management Regime. Attended by community members and representatives from the Lands Advisory Board, today's celebration signals the beginning of a new land management era for the First Nation.
The First Nations Land Management Regime replaces 32 land-related sections of the Indian Act with respect to land, the environment, and most resources. This is a practical step towards self-government, increasing First Nations' responsibility to manage their land and to take advantage of economic opportunities.
Supporting and expanding the First Nations Land Management Regime is a key component of the Harper Government's commitment to unlocking the economic potential of First Nations. As announced in Budget 2015, the Government will provide $30.3 million over five years, which is expected to lead to an additional 25 First Nations joining the First Nations Land Management Regime.
- The First Nations Land Management Regime enables First Nations to manage their own land, resources and environment according to their own land codes, laws and policies.
- Across Canada, there are 90 First Nations operating or developing land codes under the First Nations Land Management Regime, of which 47 First Nations are in British Columbia.
- Five other communities were accepted to begin the process to manage their own land under the First Nations Land Management Act: Odanak FN (Quebec), Fort William FN (Ontario), Serpent River FN (Ontario), Misipawistik Cree Nation (Manitoba), and Wahpeton Dakota Nation (Saskatchewan).
"It is my privilege to congratulate the Penticton Indian Band on its signing onto the FNLM Framework Agreement. The FNLM Regime continues to be a proven and successful tool of economic development and self-determination. We will continue to work with interested First Nations to create jobs and economic opportunities, ensuring the conditions for strong, self-sufficient and prosperous communities."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
"Our Government is delivering on its Economic Action Plan commitments to create strong and healthy investment climates on reserves that will lead to more jobs and prosperous communities. My congratulations to Penticton Indian Band and I wish them all the success as they begin developing a land code to manage their land resources and pursue more economic successes."
Member of Parliament, Okanagan-Coquihalla
"On behalf of the Penticton Indian Band, we are honoured and excited to start this process in the First Nations Land Management Regime. This is going to be a really educational process. Over the next two years, we plan to hold educational workshops, community engagement sessions, and have healthy discussions on developing our land code."
Chief, Penticton Indian Band
"Over the last 15 years of land governance experience through the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management (Framework Agreement), cumulative investments on operational First Nation reserves are now estimated at approximately $270 million, with thousands of on-reserve jobs having been created for both members and non-members. There is absolutely no doubt that the Framework Agreement is working for our First Nations and for Canada as a whole! Framework Agreement signatory First Nations are forging new partnerships with their neighbors, businesses, investors, bankers as well as with all levels of government. The Lands Advisory Board and the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre have worked diligently towards providing support to the Framework Agreement signatories and towards creating opportunity for all First Nations in Canada to pursue this initiative, if they so desire. My great appreciation goes out to Minister Valcourt and his staff for working with us to see the addition of Penticton Indian Band to the Framework Agreement. On behalf of the Lands Advisory Board, and the Framework Agreement signatory First Nations, we welcome Penticton Indian Band and look forward to the prosperous future ahead of them."
Chief Robert Louie
Chair, First Nations Lands Advisory Board
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160